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'Event on the Downs' depicts the view from Whitecliff Farm on Ballard Down, near Swanage in Dorset, where Nash and his wife stayed between October 1934 and February 1935. It is, however, more than a simple landscape. Indications of its meaning can be found in the incongruous placement of three motifs which are recurrent in Nash's art of this time: the tennis ball, the tree stump and the cloud.
(Adapted from Mary Beal, 'Paul Nash's "Event on the Downs" reconsidered', 'Burlington Magazine' November 1989).
Event on the Downs
oil on canvas
H 51 x W 61 cm
purchased from the Leicester Galleries, 1969